Grandpa Thoughts

From my Dad’s emails:

October 19, 2009:

Dad passed through the gate just before 3 PM this afternoon. He experienced some agitation this morning but in the afternoon it was just like he faded gently away. We are so blessed.
We are considering a Sunday 2 PM funeral service in Kennedy.
More later.

October 21, 2009:

Funeral Arrangements For William John McMillan (25 Jan 1914 – 19 Oct 2009) 
Saturday 3 PM Family Interment Service at Fletwode
Sunday 3 PM Memorial Service at Kennedy School gymnasium
Officiants: Rolland Bouchard & Bob Parker

I’d like to write out something more organized and poetic, but I’m thinking it just won’t happen.  Here’s some random thoughts and notes about the last week and about my Grandpa McMillan:

  • His was a life well lived.
  • Significant Memories from Monday as I had the privilege of being with Grandpa on his last day:
    • Seeing his two oldest sons tenderly care for him.  One image in my head is of my Uncle Glen’s big strong hands gently holding Grandpa’s, a really deep moment.
    • Watching his daughter in law’s by his side, a deep love was evident – they loved him, and had no doubt about his love and approval for them.
    • Having cousin Jason be there in the circle – not a grand child by blood, but there was just no doubt he was one of Grandpa’s kids – accepted and loved openly and completely- exactly like me.
    • holding hands right after Grandpa’s last breath, with a circle of about 8 while my Dad led a prayer of thankfulness.  I was thinking about how big that circle could have been if all those influenced by his frienship were included.
  • Grandpa shared his approval for his family liberally – you didn’t have to chase it – I think he was more & more vocal about this as he grew older.
  • Grandpa was in lots of ways unremarkable I suppose – as far as things like career, cash or leadership goes – but as Steve says, I think he really was exceptional when it came to relationships.  The best example of this was the fact he stay married to and friends with Grandma for 72 years, but there are many others.
  • As Uncle Dave said at one point this weekend – Grandpa was gentler at 95 than he was at 50 or 60, that’s a really neat statement.  He likely still held strong opinions, but he seemed to share them less, worrying about other things I guess.
  • He lived out sacfificial generosity, and I think he was blessed because of it.
  • 72 years of marriage – a long lifetime – is still mind boggling to me.

I’ll toss these thoughts out there, and maybe add to them later.


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